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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to aquatic algae and cyanobacteria

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Administrative data

Link to relevant study record(s)

toxicity to aquatic algae and cyanobacteria
Type of information:
experimental study
Adequacy of study:
key study
Study period:
2015-07-17 to 2015-08-21
1 (reliable without restriction)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
guideline study
according to guideline
OECD Guideline 201 (Alga, Growth Inhibition Test)
according to guideline
EU Method C.3 (Algal Inhibition test)
GLP compliance:
yes (incl. QA statement)
Analytical monitoring:
Details on sampling:
- Sampling method:
* range-finding test: A sample of each test concentration was taken for chemical analysis at 0 and 72 hours in order to determine the stability of the test item under test conditions.
* definitive test: Samples were taken from the control and the 100 mg/L test group from the bulk test preparation at 0 hours and from the pooled replicates at 72 hours for quantitative analysis. Dumplicate samples were taken at 0 and 72 hours and stored frozen for further analysis if necessary.
- Sample storage conditions before analysis: all samples are kept stored frozen prior to analysis.
Details on test solutions:
PREPARATION AND APPLICATION OF TEST SOLUTION (especially for difficult test substances)
- Method:
* Range-finding test: The test item was dissolved directly in culture medium. Prior to use the test item was heated to 50°C in order to melt. A nominal amount of test item (50 mg) was dissolved in culture medium and the volume adjusted to 500 mL to give a 100 mg/L stock solution from which a series of dilutions was made to give further stock solutions of 10, 1.0 and 0.10 mg/L. An aliquot (450 mL) of each of the stock solutions was separately inoculated with algal suspension (3.5 mL) to give the required test concentrations of 0.10, 1.0, 10 and 100 mg/L. The stock solutions and each of the prepared concentrations were inverted several times to ensure adequate mixing and homogeneity.
- Controls: yes, the control group was maintained under identical conditions but not exposed to the test item.
* Definitve test: a nominla amount of test item (100 mg) was dissolved in culture medium and the volume adjusted to 1 liter to give a 100 mg/L stock solution. This stock solution was inoculated with algal suspension (8.8 mL) to give the required concentration of 100 mg/L. Stock solutionb and the prepared concentration were inverted several times to ensure adequate mixing and homogeneity.
- Chemical name of vehicle (organic solvent, emulsifier or dispersant): no
Test organisms (species):
Raphidocelis subcapitata (previous names: Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, Selenastrum capricornutum)
Details on test organisms:
- Common name: - Strain: CCAP 278/4
- Source (laboratory, culture collection): Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa (CCAP), SAMS Research Services Ltd, Scottish Marine Institute, Oban, Argyll, Scotland
- Method of cultivation: The master cultures were maintained in the laboratory under constant aeration and constant illumination at 21 ± 1 °C.

- Acclimation period: no data
- Culturing media and conditions (same as test or not): same as test
- Any deformed or abnormal cells observed: no
Test type:
Water media type:
Limit test:
Total exposure duration:
72 h
not reported
Test temperature:
24± 1°C
* Control: pH increased from pH 7.9 at 0 hours to pH 8.3 at 72 hours.
* Definitive test: 8.0 - 8.3
Dissolved oxygen:
not reported
not relevant
Nominal and measured concentrations:
* Range-finding test: 99 to 106% of nominal concentrations (100 mg/L)
* Definitive test: 86 to 88% of nominal concentrations (100 mg/L)
Details on test conditions:
- Test vessel: 250 mL glass conical flasks
- Type (delete if not applicable): plugged with polyurethane foam
- Material, size, headspace, fill volume: 250 mL glass conical flasks containing 100 mL of test preparation .
- Initial cells density: 5000 algal cells/mL test medium
- No. of vessels per concentration (replicates): 6
- No. of vessels per control (replicates): 6

- Standard medium used: yes, according to guidelines (OECD 201)

- Source/preparation of dilution water: the culture medium was prepared using reverse osmosis purified deionized water
- Culture medium different from test medium: no difference
- Intervals of water quality measurement: 72h

- Sterile test conditions: no information
- Adjustment of pH: adjusted to 7.5 with 0.1 N NaOH or HCl
- Photoperiod: continuously illuminated
- Light intensity and quality: mean value of about 7000 lux achieved by white lighting (380-730 nm)

EFFECT PARAMETERS MEASURED (with observation intervals if applicable) :
- Determination of cell concentrations: [counting chamber; electronic particle counter; fluorimeter; spectrophotometer; colorimeter]: Multisize particle counter ( Coulter)
- Effect parameters calculated: specific growth rate, yield data

- Spacing factor for test concentrations: none (limit test)
- Range finding study:
- Test concentrations: 0.1, 1.0, 10, 100 mg/L
- Results used to determine the conditions for the definitive study: yes
Reference substance (positive control):
Potassium dichromate
Key result
72 h
Dose descriptor:
Effect conc.:
> 100 mg/L
Nominal / measured:
Conc. based on:
test mat.
Basis for effect:
growth rate
72 h
Dose descriptor:
Effect conc.:
100 mg/L
Nominal / measured:
Conc. based on:
test mat.
Basis for effect:
growth rate
Details on results:
- Exponential growth in the control (for algal test): yes
- Effect concentrations exceeding solubility of substance in test medium: no remarkable observations. The test media of all test concentrations remained clear throughout the entire test period.
- The 72-h EC50 (biomass) = 28 mg/L (95% CL 22-36 mg/L)
- The 72-h EC10 (biomass) = 11 mg/L (95% CL 6-15 mg/L)
- The 72-h EC10 (growth rate) = 24 mg/L (95% CL 7-36 mg/L)
- The 72-h EC90 (biomass) = 69 mg/L (95% CL 50-121 mgL)
- The 72-h EC90 (growth rate) = 133 mg/L (95% CL 80-902 mg/L)
- The 72-h NOEC (growth rate and biomass) = 10 mg/L
Results with reference substance (positive control):
- Results with reference substance valid? Yes
- EC50: (growth rate) 1.0 mg/L (95% CL 0.90-1.2 mg/L)
Reported statistics and error estimates:
A student's t-test incorporating Bertlett's test for homogeneity of variance was carried out on the growth rate and yield data.
Validity criteria fulfilled:
A 72-h growth inhibition test with the unicellular green algae Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata was performed according to the OECD 201 guideline. The 72-h NOEC was determined to be 100 mg ethylene carbonate/L (nominal). The 72-h EC50 (growth rate) was determined to be > 100 mg ethylene carbonate/L. The results of the test can be considered reliable without restriction.

Description of key information

A Klimisch 1 study (Vryenhoef, 2015) on ethylene carbonate reported an unbounded 72-h ErC50  value of > 100 mg/L and a NOErC of 100 mg/L. 

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

The recently performed acute study of Vryenhoef (2015) was used as key study. The study was performed following the OECD 201 guideline. Following a range-finder study, the algae were exposed to a single test concentration of 100 mg/L. Analysis of the test preparations showed that the measured test concentration was near the nominal concentrations (<20% differences), so results were based on nominal test concentrations only.

The test resulted in a unbounded 72-h ErC50 > 100 mg/L for the algae Pseudokirchnerella subcapitata. No effects were observed at the highest concentration tested. The 72-h NOErC was determined to be 100 mg/L.